This is a fiery novel about the experience of teen lesbian love in a small seaside town amid a languorous summer in the upper-sixth.
With one year remaining of sixth-form a tragic beach accident strikes the heart of a close-knit group of teenagers, killing two of their dear friends. As they attempt to come to terms with the grief for their loss, political forces threaten to claim and overrun their town, destroying the places and sanctuaries the group frequents.
Determined to withstand any attempts to further fling their friendships apart, the small group closes ranks and vows revenge. When two of the teens, Sandi Burrill and Cherry Trove, fall hopelessly in love with each other, the flames of their passion ignites their independence but overwhelms their understanding. Neither girl is aware how fraught with danger and peril their love will become. When Cherry’s brother is accused of raping Sandi’s sister, a local councillor’s wife Jonquil Davis plots to split the couple, and drive the Burrills away from Amberleigh.
As details begin to emerge that the tragedy was not accidental but a serious crime, it becomes clear where Conservative power-brokers in the town will look to assign the blame. Amid the confusion of the subsequent police investigation, one question looms: will Sandi and Cherry’s love survive their remaining tenure in Amberleigh, and the power of political force?
At once a deeply told love story and a coruscating comment on British politics, Sandi Burrill and the Beach of Flames presents a searing portrait of a community on the brink, and eloquently explores the desperation of teenage love trapped by a forbidding and uncontrollable environment.
Point of view:
This is the fourth book in the Danny Canterbury Tales has to be my favorite by far. Not only was the narrator a delight, but I really enjoyed the solid transition to New Adult in this one. And yes folks, while the gang is wrapping up their last year of school ~ we are solidly in ADULT territory here. Everyone is 18 turning 19, the language and descriptions of sex are decidedly more graphic and time spent inside a classroom has diminished quite a bit. I will say that folks who are trying to jump into the series at this point will likely be quite confused as there are frequent and vague references to previous events/characters.
We’re back for the final year at St. Oliver Plunket’s and while Danny, Amanita, Timothy, and all the students are studying Romeo & Juliet – Sandi Burrill & Cherry Trove are living it in real life. While Danny does still have a central role in the story, much is devoted to Sandi & Cherry’s relationship, the town’s reaction to it, and another mystery. Jericho again dives into real behavior and internal musings of young adults providing an emotional ride that is enjoyable even if sometimes frustrating. (FFS Danny, buy condoms!)
I’m looking forward to Amanita’s book next and hoping that maybe, just maybe we’ll learn more about Robin. Please?
This was my first experience with Suzanne Martin as a narrator and I loved her. Her accent is kind of thick and I did have to sort of replay things in my head a few times to be sure I understood what she said, but I’m happy we’re back to a native UK accent for the series. Martin did a wonderful job with giving each character their own unique voice as well as thoroughly immersing the listener into the world.
Note: My only complaint, and I’m not sure if this is the responsibility of the narrator or someone during production – but there were still a LOT of instances of repetition. Like the same line recorded and then repeated. Unfortunately some happened at very dramatic times and it really knocks the listener from the story. Hopefully this is something that can be corrected and the recording can be resubmitted.
Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers):
A secondary character is raped. She describes what happens to her and there is a trial. While the topic takes up some significant time in the book, the graphic descriptions are not belabored.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
About the author:
Dominic Jericho is a writer of adult and young adult fiction. He’s been writing stories since before he was a teen himself. He started with a pencil on a scruffy notepad before rapidly buying up multiple packs of empty exercise books so he could fill them with ideas, lists, concepts and illustrations. He now writes all his novels on a shiny new laptop, which unfortunately has the annoying distraction of an internet connection.
You can connect with Dominic Jericho here: